Understanding Dog Anxiety: Natural Ways to Calm Your Furry Friend - My Blissful Pet

Understanding Dog Anxiety: Natural Ways to Calm Your Furry Friend

Symptoms of anxiety in dogs

Dogs, like humans, can have anxiety, and if left untreated it can lead to serious consequences. Some examples of anxiety induced behavioral issues can be:

  • peeing and pooping around the house
  • excessive chewing
  • scratching and digging on doors
  • restlessly moving around the house
  • barking and howling for no apparent reason
  • aggression 
  • drooling 
  • excessive panting

What causes anxiety in dogs?

Anxiety can be caused by a number of reason. For example:

Treatments for dog anxiety

More often than not, the solution to your dog's anxiety is a mix of behavioral/training interventions and simple medications. Rare cases can require prescription meds, but it is definitely worth scoping natural and behavioral remedies first. 

Natural remedies

If your dog has mild to moderate anxiety, there are several natural ways to help calm them down. Here are some tips:

  1. Calming Supplements: CBD treats are a safe, efficient and natural way to calm your dog. We describe the science behind CBD here. At GiandWin we have numerous USDA organic certified yummy treats that do just that: reduce stress and anxiety in your dog. For example, our Carob CBD treats contain Baobab and Chamomile to sooth your pup naturally.
  2. Exercise: Regular exercise can help reduce anxiety in dogs. Exercise helps release endorphins, which can improve a dog's mood and reduce anxiety. Playing with your pup is the best exercise that will also help you earn your dog's trust.
  3. Massage: Massaging your dog can help also reduce their anxiety. Start by petting your dog gently and gradually increase pressure. Work it from the head down. The AKC has a great guide on how to massage your dog.

  4. Create a Safe Space: Creating a safe and comfortable space for your dog can greatly help reduce their anxiety. Provide a cozy bed or crate in a quiet room with a favorite toy or treat. This space should be their go-to when they need a break.

  5. Training: More often than not, training your dog regularly can offer him a way to shift his focus away from what causes anxiety, and helps him learn correct behaviors. Whether that's learning to walk on a leash, to sit and stay, to jump, to fetch, to drive car (well, maybe not..) it is also a great opportunity for you to create a stronger bond with your dog = your dog will feel safer with you = less anxious. 

Prescription medicines for dog anxiety

In severe cases of dog anxiety, medication may be necessary. Anti-anxiety medication is available by prescription from a veterinarian. The most commonly prescribed medications are benzodiazepines and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Basically, they stop the good molecules from being removed, exactly as they would work for humans. However, medication should only be used as a last resort and under the supervision of a veterinarian.

Things to avoid

While positive reinforcement is known to be the best way to address any benign or dangerous behavioral issue, punishments, yelling, too much crating etc...can worsen the situation. If in doubt, please (pretty please) understand that your dog is like you, and you would not like to be punished for being afraid of something. Your dog loves you, unconditionally, and love and compassion do magics!

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